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For the past 5 years a friend of mine has been living at an apartment complex in Maryland. They are approaching their 1-year lease. They were surprised to receive a letter of rent increase uploaded here. The letter says that the rent is going up 15% for a 1-year lease. And the ‘Voluntary Rent Guideline’ recommends an increase of .4%. The month-to-month lease increased 40%. The letter goes on to say, if you feel this is an excessive increase, you can contact the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Affairs. I went to the DHCA website and searched for - rent increase. It said, Montgomery County does not exercise rent control for rented residences. Landlords only must notify tenants of a rent increase greater than 0.4%. What choices does my friend have, will contacting Maryland Department of Housing and Community Affairs change anything?

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Affairs https://www3.montgomerycountymd.gov/311/Solutions.aspx?SolutionId=1-TYH51

Voluntary Rent Guideline https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DHCA/housing/landlordtenant/voluntary_rent_guideline.html

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  • They tell you the percentage increase on the form, e.g. "$2093.00 which is 15.3% greater than your current rent."
    – Andrew Ray
    Sep 14 at 19:27
  • Okay. I made some changes to the post. Sorry about the information Sep 14 at 19:28
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    What has the 40% 1-month got to do with it? That is not comparing like for like and it forms a shock-horror headline. The 12-month vs 12-month is 15%, not 40%. What have the rises (if any) been in the last 5 years? Has it risen at all? Sep 14 at 21:52
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    Please do not paste pictures of text - they are inaccessible to people with disabilities and search engines. Please type out the relevant parts in full.
    – Dale M
    Sep 15 at 3:26
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    Please do not include images of text. They hinder searchability and accessibility. See law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1479/… on Law Meta Sep 15 at 4:25

2 Answers 2

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Under Montgomery County Bill 30-21

A landlord must not increase a tenant’s rent to an amount that exceeds the voluntary rent guidelines under Section 29-53...

but with the further provision that the increase would take effect "during the emergency". "The emergency" refers to "the catastrophic health emergency declared by the Governor of Maryland on March 5, 2020" and renewed and amended at various times. But as you can see here, the state of emergency no longer exists, therefore this law is no longer in force, and the question of exceeding those guidelines is moot.

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  • You omitted the other proviso: notification. If a landlord provided notice of a rent increase to a tenant prior to the emergency and the increase would exceed the voluntary rent guidelines under Section 29-53, the landlord must inform the tenant in writing: Sep 14 at 21:48
  • Also, the document refers to voluntary rent guidelines. Sep 14 at 21:54
  • Thank you @user6726. I understand there is nothing we can do but move out. It is sad that there is no state or local law in place that caps a rent increases. Sep 14 at 23:38
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Pay it or move.

Rents are increasing everywhere. It is a sad state of affairs, but people can charge what they want for their property.

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    This would benefit from citations.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 15 at 9:36
  • This answer is also incorrect: Both explicit rent control and rental contract regulations that limit the rate of increases are not uncommon.
    – feetwet
    Sep 15 at 14:22

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